Photography. I don’t know of anything that has so many people across the world so deeply enthralled. Creating imagery is a beautiful way to express ideas, emotions, themes, and more. With the advent of digital photography and iphoneography, the power to create is in everyone’s hands. With access to knowledge and the ability to continuously learn, the sky is the limit with making images. But, photography practice is imperative.
Why do we get stuck in our creative ruts and lose momentum? How do we break out of the predictable style we’ve come to rely on and continue to practice so that we grow as artists? How do we continue to develop our skills as photographers and as artists in a medium we’ve been using for years? The simple, short answer is: we must practice the art of practicing! Growing as a photographer is a continuous process and being able to deal with the wrong equipment at the right time, embrace not having a vision, and try new workflows to open up the creative flood gates and prepare for future creative opportunities.
New Mexico’s Vanishing Ghost Towns by Gary Lamott
Continuing Our Adventures: My wife and I are continuing our adventures here in New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment, traveling the highways and byways to some of the more than 400 ghost towns, some of which not only died, but vanished! You can still find a few hardy souls that live in some of them, as well as some old buildings that are still standing. Starting in the late 1800s, these towns blazed in a moment of glory, then died in a sudden flame. Many were mining towns, where men lusted after the earth’s riches – gold, silver, turquoise, copper, lead and coal. A few were farming communities that flourished for a time and mysteriously fell silent. Some were water stops for the steam locomotives, their usefulness gone with the advent of the modern diesel engines that ride the rails today.
It is very tempting to think that post-processing in photography is something disconnected from the rest of the photographic process, and particularly so from the capture of images in the field. The truth, however, is that post-processing should not be considered a separate step in photography, but rather as the continuation, or should we say culmination, of a whole photographic process which started the moment we had an idea in our mind that we wanted to capture in a photograph.
For thirty years my wife and I have been traveling to New Mexico and the American Southwest. We have driven over 30,000 miles in the Four Corner states experiencing the diverse natural wonders, friendly people and history of what is unquestionably one of the most beautiful parts of our great country. It is nearly impossible to explain in words how one feels experiencing the highways and byways of our new home state. By featuring just a few of the thousands of photos I have taken and enhanced using Topaz Labs Software, I hope to give you some sense of how New Mexico is truly the “Land of Enchantment”.
“Looking is not seeing. Engaging with the world as a photographer means we need to keep not only our eyes open, but also our mind and soul.”
Reality does not exist. Each of us makes our own reality. Perception, which might start with visual stimuli, is filtered by our mental templates, preconceptions, memories and experiences. The result becomes a personal appreciation of reality, which then, by association, releases a number of emotions, feelings and souvenirs linked to other situations and experiences of our life.